I picked up my HP-S5053 last night. I bought a cheap RCA antenna, and I was rockin in an HD world!
Physical appearance - Flat out stunning. By far the best looking plasma that was on my short list.
Hookups - plenty. I'll mostly use the cable antenna and cable inputs, one hdmi, and maybe the component. I like the side AV hookups and I may use the PC input one day.
Menu organization - Very intuitive. I had no problem picking up the remote and modifying the various settings.
Startup - The first time you power on the unit, it step through a setup. It sets the time, timezone, and will program the channels. It defaults to the vivid picture mode, which looks kind of chunky to me. Everything is on, DNIe, Noise reduction, pixel shift. I immediately switched to custom, and turned the contrast and brightness down to 50 as recommended for the breakin period.
OTA - I bought a RCA ANT501 antenna. I had it sitting on the floor in my basement. I'm about 30 miles from the towers here in the twin cities. I was able to get about half of the channels with no effort. I think with a proper antenna configuration, I should be good to go for OTA.
PQ - I watched "Cold Case" on CBS and "ER" on NBC last night in HD. The CBS feed looked much better than the NBC feed. The picture was very dark with all the settings turned down for breakin. It was hard to discern the outline of say, a dark suit in a dimly lit scene. My concerns there were immediately put to rest when I switched to the default "standard" mode. There were no contrast and brightness issues in that mode. The color on this plasma absolutely pops. Incredible color. The black levels were good. Not as good as my Mitsu CRT, but that's to be expected. I have absolutely no fear about the image quality. After the breakin period, when it can be fine tuned with Avia or the like, it will be phenomenal. The open air SD was OK with a decent signal, not great. I have got a chance to run a DVD through it yet, that's my next test.
Conclusion - As of right now, I couldn't be happier that I choose the Sammy over the Panny, LG, Vizio, etc. I compared the Panny and Sammy in at least 4 different stores, and it was always the Sammy that caught my eye. I can't speak to durability or customer service yet, and there are many other image configs to try, but thumbs up so far.